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Ashley Judd Recovering After Serious Accident In The Congo

Ashley Judd Recovering After Serious Accident In The Congo

Ashley Judd / By Donna Lou Morgan, U.S. Navy [Public domain] CC BY-SA 2.0 via Wikimedia Commons)
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NASHVILLE, TN (CelebrityAccess) — Country music icon Naomi Judd said her daughter Ashley is still confined to bed more than a month after suffering a serious accident in the Democratic Republic of Congo that nearly cost her a leg.

On Thursday’s episode of the Kelly Clarkson Show, Judd said she’s planning to take Ashley to get stitches removed following her accident.

When Clark asked if the accident was serious, Judd replied: “Very serious. She could’ve died. And she’s surviving. She’s very courageous. Can’t get out of bed.”

Ashley was hiking in the DRC in February when the accident occurred. According to her own account, Judd was hiking in the jungle when she tripped over a fallen tree and shattered her leg.

Due to the remote location, Judd was transported with the help of porters to find medical treatment, including hours being carried in a makeshift stretcher.


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“Without my Congolese brothers and sisters, my internal bleeding would have likely killed me, and I would have lost my leg. I wake up weeping in gratitude, deeply moved by each person who contributed something life giving and spirit salving during my grueling 55 hour odyssey,” Judd wrote in a social media post detailing the ordeal.

“Here are some of their stories. Dieumerci stretched out his leg and put it under my grossly misshapen left leg to try to keep it still. It was broken in four places and had nerve damage. Dieumerci (“Thanks be to God”) remained seated, without fidgeting or flinching, for 5 hours on the rain forest floor. He was with me in my primal pain. He was my witness. Papa Jean: it took 5 hours, but eventually he found me, wretched and wild on the ground, and calmly assessed my broken leg. He told me what he had to do. I bit a stick. I held onto Maud. And Papa Jean, with certainty began to manipulate and adjust my broken bones back into something like a position I could be transported in, while I screamed and writhed. How he did that so methodically while I was like an animal is beyond me. He saved me. & he had to do this twice,” Judd continued.

“The six men who carefully moved me into the hammock with as little jostling as possible, who then walked for 3 hours over rough terrain carrying me out. Heros. Didier and Maradona: Didier drove the motorbike. I sat facing backwards, his back my backrest. When I would begin to slump, to pass out, he would call to me to re-set my position to lean on him. Maradona rode on the very back of the motorbike, i faced him. He held my broken leg under the heel and I held the shattered top part together with my two hands. Together we did this for 6 hours on an irregular, rutted and pocked dirt road that has gullies for rain run off during the rainy season. Maradona was the only person to come forward to volunteer for this task. We have a nice friendship, discussing the pros and cons of polygamy and monogamy. I show two pictures, one in his hat and one in mine, which he dearly covets!
The women! My sisters who held me. They blessed me,” Judd added.

Judd was eventually relocated to South Africa, where she was confined to the Intensive Care Unit and later the U.S. where she underwent surgury to treat her injuries.

While in the ICU in South Africa, Judd was interviewed by New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof where she highlighted the need for advanced medical facilities in the DRC.

According to Judd, while she “deeply loves” the Congo, the country is “not, unfortunately, equipped to deal with massive catastrophic injuries like I have had.”

“And the difference between a Congolese person and me is disaster insurance that allowed me 55 hours after my accident to get to an operating table in South Africa,” Judd added.

Judd, who is 55, is a frequent vistor to the DRC, where she studies endangered a population of endangered Bonobos.

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